22. Apr - 11. May 2023
Join us for the Opening Night on Friday, April 21 at 7pm.
Have some drinks with as and enjoy tunes by DJ be_ca_di.
The notion of openness has long been celebrated as a fundamental virtue in both artistic and societal contexts. Indeed, an open mind is widely regarded as a prerequisite for any meaningful engagement with art. Open borders, meanwhile, are seen as essential in promoting an open society – one that is inclusive, democratic and tolerant. In stark contrast, the word „closed“ can carry negative connotations of confinement, restriction and exclusion. However, it is important to recognise that the notion of openness can be fraught with complexities and limitations.
Take, for instance, the limbo – a state of being characterized by an infinite loop, and hence one that is ultimately intolerable. Similarly, while open operations can be essential for our physical well-being, they can also be fraught with danger. And while some may argue that open conflicts can serve a cathartic function, it is undoubtedly true that the vast majority of us seek an end to the conflict as quickly as possible.
When it comes to interpretation, too, openness can be a double-edged sword. While an open-ended artwork may invite a rich tapestry of readings, it can also drive us to the brink of madness with its elusive meanings and inexhaustible potentialities. Eventually, where openness does not offer a satisfactory solution, there is a longing for unambiguity creeps in – or Sehnsucht – that can at times become overwhelming and dangerous.
Mickiewicz‘s poem „Dziady“, written during Poland‘s struggle for independence against Russia in the 19th century, speaks powerfully to this longing for redemption. The poem‘s reference to the messiah – a figure of hope and deliverance in Jewish and Christian tradition – is particularly poignant in this regard. The poet mentions the saviour by name: „And his name will be forty and four“.
Interestingly, Mickiewicz‘s allusion to „forty and four“ may be interpreted in a contemporary digital context, as a reference to the notorious „404 error“ encountered when a webpage cannot be found. Far from being a mere technical glitch, this error is a manifestation of the limits of digital openness – a reminder that even in our hyper-connected age, there remain certain boundaries and thresholds that we cannot overcome.
Lukas Bury is a German artist with a Polish background, based in Reykjavik and Berlin.
Seweryn Janski is a Polish artist, based in Wroclaw and Berlin.
Vitalii Shupliak is an Ukrainian artist and curator, based in Berlin.
Text: Lukas Bury